Gallifreyan Embassy on WLIW in 1987

Administrator - Posted on 03 September 2009

The Gallifreyan Embassy volunteering on the phones during WLIW's marathon of Doctor Who: The War Games in August 1987 (as mentioned in Doctor Who: Podshock 158). This is the first break after episode 1. This break ran 11 minutes (edited to under 10 for YouTube). Seen volunteering on the phones here are both Louis Trapani (hat and scarf) and Ken Deep (Gallifreyan Embassy baseball style jersey shirt) of Doctor Who: Podshock and other Gallifreyan Embassy members, Beth, Pete, Tim, Monique, "Anti-Doctor" and others.

It is not terribly exciting, we are essentially just in the background. This is what viewers typically had to endure to get to the next episode when a PBS station was having a pledge drive during Doctor Who. This particular one ran for 11 minutes (edited down here to under 10), some ran longer, some ran shorter. During this marathon of The War Games, WLIW challenged viewers to raise a certain amount of money to reach a goal during one pledge break, they would cancel the next.

Forgive the quality of the video, it was transfered from an old analog VHS tape. We will try to get other videos pledge breaks we appeared on here soon. Some are more interesting than others. During this marathon of The War Games, in one of the breaks, WLIW ran some video footage introducing viewers to the 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. There is also one break in which a video clip was shown of an interview with Jon Pertwee and John Nathan-Turner.

Bullitt33's picture

Ahh, I have many a memory of PBS Doctor Who pledge breaks.  Your affliate's pledge drive production values look a bit more "professional" compared to one's we had here in San Antonio during the same time period.  I took a turn answering the phones once, but not for a Doctor Who related drive.

daveac's picture

I enjoyed that.

Thanks for posting it on the site.

A wonder if any of those 'gifts' are still around - they might even be worth those amounts of money now :-)

Cheers, daveac


Louis Trapani's picture

Thanks Dave. There's more where that came from. I will try to post more, though perhaps not full breaks. This was just the first pledge break for the long Doctor Who: The War Games marathon. Though they did skip a couple breaks in between episodes because they reached their goals during the breaks prior to them.


DarthSkeptical's picture

I remember that damned "disappearing TARDIS mug" vividly.  I think that must've been given as a premium all over the US.  I seem to recall being able to buy it direct from wherever I was getting my subscription to DWM at the time.  If you want some idea of the esteem in which that particular incentive is held by longtime American fans just do a Google for "disappearing TARDIS mug". 

Have a lemon sherbet. It'll quench your thirst.

I find this sort of thing fascinating. Living in the UK, I've read about things like "Pledge drives" on PBS as they broadcast the show, but great to see what they were like.

In fact, I think this would make a fascinating extra on one of the DVDs. I guess rights issues might be a problem, but a documentary about the US fan experience of watching/supporting the show on US TV would be a great addition to an 80s DVD title.

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